Gauntlet



[gawnt-lit, gahnt-] /ˈgɔnt lɪt, ˈgɑnt-/

noun
1.
a medieval glove, as of mail or plate, worn by a knight in armor to protect the hand.
2.
a glove with an extended cuff for the wrist.
3.
the cuff itself.
Idioms
4.
take up the gauntlet,

Also, take up the glove.
5.
throw down the gauntlet,

Also, throw down the glove.
[gawnt-lit, gahnt-] /ˈgɔnt lɪt, ˈgɑnt-/
noun, Also, (for defs 1, 2, 4).
1.
a former punishment, chiefly military, in which the offender was made to run between two rows of men who struck at him with switches or weapons as he passed.
2.
the two rows of men administering this punishment.
3.
an attack from two or all sides.
4.
trying conditions; an ordeal.
5.
1 (def 1).
verb (used with object)
6.
1 (def 3).
Idioms
7.
run the gauntlet, to suffer severe criticism or tribulation.
/ˈɡɔːntlɪt/
noun
1.
a medieval armoured leather glove
2.
a heavy glove with a long cuff
3.
take up the gauntlet, to accept a challenge
4.
throw down the gauntlet, to offer a challenge
/ˈɡɔːntlɪt/
noun
1.
a punishment in which the victim is forced to run between two rows of men who strike at him as he passes: formerly a military punishment
2.
run the gauntlet

3.
a testing ordeal; trial
4.
a variant spelling of gantlet1 (sense 1)
n.

“glove,” early 15c., gantelet, from Old French gantelet (13c.) “gauntlet worn by a knight in armor,” also a token of one’s personality or person, and symbolizing a challenge, e.g. tendre son gantelet “throw down the gauntlet” (a sense found in English by 1540s); semi-diminutive or double-diminutive of gant “glove” (12c.), earlier wantos (7c.), from Frankish *wanth-, from Proto-Germanic *wantuz “glove” (cf. Middle Dutch want “mitten,” East Frisian want, wante, Old Norse vöttr “glove,” Danish vante “mitten”), which apparently is related to Old High German wintan, Old English windan “turn around, wind” (see wind (v.)).

The name must orig. have applied to a strip of cloth wrapped about the hand to protect it from sword-blows, a frequent practice in the Icelandic sagas. [Buck]

Italian guanto, Spanish guante are likewise ultimately from Germanic. The spelling with -u- was established from 1500s.

military punishment in which offender runs between rows of men who beat him in passing, 1660s, earlier gantlope (1640s), from Swedish gatlopp “passageway,” from Old Swedish gata “lane” (see gate) + lopp “course,” related to löpa “to run” (see leap). Probably borrowed by English soldiers during Thirty Years’ War. Modern spelling, influenced by gauntlet (n.1), not fixed until mid-19c.
fling (throw) down the gauntlet [(gawnt-luht)]

To issue a challenge: “The candidate flung down the gauntlet and challenged his opponent to a debate.” A gauntlet was a glove; the wearer would throw it to the ground to show that he was challenging an opponent to fight.
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